Does COVID Have You Feeling Footloose and Ready to Go?

Then, this is for you.

Photo by Cody Black on Unsplash

** Republished from 2016. I don’t condone travel in COVID times **

I haven’t left the USA for four months and I’m already scratching for a plane ticket out of here. I don’t know where; I just want to go. Far, far away from the rat race that I’m currently running.

Before I went abroad for the first time, I didn’t leave the U.S. for the first 21 years of my life. I never even imagined traveling abroad.

According to Huffington Post, only about 5% of all U.S.-born Americans will ever travel overseas. Why is that?

Well, that is the great mystery.

This may be completely biased because of the fantastic experiences I have had overseas, but I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t desire to at least make one trip abroad.

There’s so much to learn from other cultures.

Sure, there may be a variety of cultures inside the U.S. to dig into. I love the diversity that America has to offer. Still, it’s not the same kind of cultural differences. Take one trip to Europe and travel to several different countries. You’ll understand what I mean.

The kind of experiences you will run into aren’t even imaginable until you get out there and see for yourself.

Taking the final step and leaving the life you know for the life you seek is truly an invigorating moment. Once you realize you are out on your own and out of the control of anyone but yourself, that’s when you reach your best self.

Be ready to be immersed into a world where you can’t read signs and have to problem-solve the simplest of issues. Such as where to get a haircut or where you can find someone to give you directions in English.

When I’m faced with the simplest of problems like these while I’m abroad, they become the main focus of my daily life. That’s when life slows down for me.

When I’m in my comfort zone, I get caught up in a bunch of meaningless business that may seem relevant at the time, but in reality, doesn’t mean much. It gets stressful.

Now that I’ve found a simple lifestyle, it is hard not to want to go back.

I’m ready to learn how to live in a new place again. I want to form a new routine and relearn how to slow things down. How to cut the stress from life.

I want to rid myself of all my obligations in the USA. Stuff that wouldn’t even cross my mind when I was in Europe last year. Dumb stuff that becomes obligations in the trappings of routine life.

The more I travel, the more I learn how to adapt on the go. I forget about the things that are minute.

As cheesy as it is, all my other worries start to melt away. There’s something incredibly freeing about travel. That lets you hold onto happiness and let all other things go.

When you are learning how to live in a new place, everything is so new to you. It opens you up to new experiences. A new way of living. Almost to the point of becoming a new person.

That newness can’t be felt under the spell of a routine.

I had to escape my American routine the first time to realize I had never left my comfort zone until I traveled. And once I finally got there, I realized I kind of liked it.

Forming new friendships. Picking up new skills. Learning new languages. Finding new hobbies and interests. All these are things that you don’t get the opportunity to do every day when you are living with your eyes closed.

When you become complacent, your eyes are always closed. Travel opens them.

It’s hard to see life from another perspective. But traveling allows you to do just that.

Once you actually get out there, you get to see what the world is really like; not based on how others describe it to you. It can be life-changing.

For me, seeing the sights and going home is never enough. I need more time. We all need more time.

I want to immerse myself so deep into a new place that I can call it home. I want to get life in a foreign town down to a science. To where I feel like an expert.

Then, by the time I reach that point, I’ll want to go. I’ll want to leave and find my next destination and adventure. That’s just how it goes.

There’s nothing in my life keeping me grounded. I don’t know how long that kind of freedom and opportunity will last. So, why not make the most of it while I can?

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